White House strategic communications coordinator John Kirby, commenting on the incident with an American drone lost the day before over the Black Sea, said that the United States would not want the UAV wreckage to fall into the wrong hands. Retired aviation colonel Viktor Alksnis told The Insider that even if the drone gets to the Russian side, it is unlikely that it will be able to benefit significantly from it.
“We don't have an industrial base to produce such electronics because our electronics industry is dead. To manufacture this modern equipment, you need to have the appropriate microcircuits and optics, and we don't have any of that. Therefore, even if we get the drone intact, we can only envy and try to create analogues, but at a different level, significantly inferior to the one at which it was made.
Even before the 1980s, the USSR was a leader in the production and use of reconnaissance drones. The Tu-141, which Ukraine uses, has survived to our time, and they were in service with the army, and in each district there were units with drones. But then we lagged behind, and now this lag is critical. We need new technologies. We tried to get drones from Israel 10 years ago, but they did not supply us with the most advanced models.
In addition, a drone usually has a self-liquidator on board - a device that, upon an external signal, undermines the drone. It is small, and therefore the most complex and attractive equipment for the enemy is destroyed.
The Pentagon said that Russian fighter jets dropped fuel on the aircraft before engaging the propeller of the drone.
“I understand that there is a search for methods to combat drones. If it were possible to shoot him down, he would have been shot down long ago. It was in the international space, so it was necessary to find ways of non-destructive impact.”
Earlier, retired US Air Force Lieutenant General David Deptula told The New York Times that there would be no consequences if the MQ-9 Reaper fell into the wrong hands, unless there was some unique sensor on a particular drone. He noted that similar UAVs have already lost over Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan and Syria.
According to the Pentagon, on March 14, two Russian Su-27s made dangerous maneuvers around an American MQ-9 Reaper drone, which was on a standard surveillance mission over the Black Sea. One of the planes hit the propeller of the drone, after which the Americans decided to drown the device. The Russian Defense Ministry said the fighters "did not make contact" with the MQ-9 Reaper and the drone lost control for unknown reasons.